The Definition of addiction

If you look up the meaning of addiction in the dictionary, it will say, “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.”

The definition of an addict is, “a person who is addicted to a particular substance, typically an illegal drug.”

And finally, one who is addicted would be defined as, “physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects.”


So what Is addiction?

People who are experiencing addiction tend not to have control over themselves. That means that they will have an uncontrollable urge to do or take in a substance. They are literally dependent to the substance or activity.

What really gives it away is when one does things hysterically to the point of harming themselves. The harm can come in many forms such as: lack of sleep thus missing work, being in a daze thus deeming themselves useless because they can not function normally, physical harm such as burns or track marks to say the least.

List of addictions

Here is a small list of typical drugs that many have become addicted to:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Opioids (like heroin)
  • Prescription drugs (sedatives, hypnotics, or anxiolytics like sleeping pills and tranquilizers)
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis (marijuana)
  • Amphetamines (like methamphetamine, known as meth)
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Phencyclidine (known as PCP or Angeldust)
  • Other unspecified substances

Addiction is not limited to just drugs but a variety of things. Some of these may come as a surprise to you, but these too can cause feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, despair, failure, rejection, anxiety and/or humiliation to the addicted. They are:

  • Cutting
  • Exercise
  • Fetishes
  • Gambling
  • Hand Washing
  • Internet
  • Love
  • Money
  • Overeating
  • Relationships
  • Religion
  • Self Injurious Behaviors (SIB)
  • Sex
  • Shopping
  • Sleep
  • Spending
  • Stealing
  • Television
  • Trichotillomania (Chronic Hair Pulling)
  • Video games
  • Work

This is not a comprehensive list, but is helpful to at least get an idea of some of the things people can become addicted to.

You will also notice that Prescription drugs are listed under drugs. Many think because it’s prescribed that addictions is unlikely. This is far from the truth. Your local family doctor isn’t the only person who can prescribe drugs. Many forget that psychiatrist also prescribe drugs and some can become addicted to the medication. The drug abuse epidemic is an unfortunate double-edged sword.

So where do we draw the line between addiction and habit? We will discuss that next.

If you feel like you might be suffering from an addiction, contact us now so we can talk about our addiction counseling in Brea. Your first visit will be complimentary.

Similar topics:

What is an addiction? The fine line between addiction and habit What are some signs of addiction? Are there risks to addiction? What could be the causes of addiction? | Can my addiction be diagnosed? | Criteria for Substance Abuse for Dependency | Can addiction be treated?

Gary Aris

-N.C.C.A. Professional Clinical Member -Ordained Minister, Lighthouse of Faith Christian Fellowship -N.C.C.A. Certified Temperament Counselor -N.C.C.A. Licensed Pastoral Counselor


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